As most of you die-hard "Fallout" fans are aware, "Fallout 4" release date news is hard to come by. There have only been a few nuggets of actual "Fallout 4" release date news in the last couple of weeks. It started in January, when ThreeDog voice actor Erik Todd Dellums tweeted about working on a new project. One month later we heard about the next-gen design job openings at Bethesda Game Studios, the studio that only produces "Fallout" and "Elder Scrolls" games.

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Within weeks we heard about a brief interview with Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart where he revealed his desire to do a follow-up to "Fallout: New Vegas." Some Boston-based "Fallout 4" rumors resurfaced. All the while we heard nothing official from the folks at Bethesda.

Anyone still doubting the existence of a "Fallout 4" release date might want to look to ThreeDog's twitter account one more time as the voice actor all but confirms there's a project going on at Bethesda and that he basically spilled the beans of legitimacy all over the scurrying rumor mongers in the media (like me). On March 8, Dellums sent out a rapid fire series of tweets explaining the January leak and Bethesda's response.

Yikes. If Bethesda doesn't use Dellums in "Fallout 4" because of his rather inane tweets about a game anyone with half a brain would assume is in development anyway fans will be upset. Not boycott-the-game-upset, since "Fallout 4" will undoubtedly be a next gen AAA marvel, but miffed. (Maybe we should set up a Kickstarter for Dellums if he gets canned from the "Fallout 4" project?)

Regardless of Dellums' employment woes, his tweets reveal that even his minor tease about "Fallout 4" release date news earned him some swift (and apparently scary) retribution from Big Brother Bethesda. Perhaps Bethesda was toying with the idea of not doing "Fallout 4" after all? Certainly would explain why they don't fans harassing them about the project if they haven't gotten it off the ground yet.

Except that Bethesda Game Studios Executive Producer Todd Howard revealed to Eurogamer in 2010 that Bethesda Game Studios likes to work on "Elder Scrolls" and "Fallout" projects concurrently.

"We kind of overlap, so Fallout 3 was overlapped into Oblivion, so we'll be doing design. We have about 90 people on the team, but not everyone is on the main game. Most people are. We spent time on Fallout 3 during Oblivion so when Oblivion was done we had a design, a concept, and some stuff running for Fallout 3 so we could move the bulk of people onto it," Howard said in the interview. "Likewise with the new game, we were working on it during Fallout 3. We had design, we had concepts, we had stuff we knew we wanted to do."

The "new game" Howard was referring to in the interview was "Skyrim." Now, if logic serves me correctly here the timeline kind of goes like this: when Bethesda was finalizing "Elder Scrolls: Oblivion" they also worked on "Fallout 3." When they were finalizing "Fallout 3" they worked on "Skyrim." Since the studio basically only produces "Fallout" and "Elder Scrolls" titles it stands to reason they were working on "Fallout 4" during the development of "Skyrim."

Since "Fallout 4" would almost certainly be a best-seller and remains a marquee name in the gaming world it's doubtful Bethesda abandoned the project. In all likelihood Bethesda is just trying to run a tight ship for the purpose of running a tight ship. They don't want people spouting off on Twitter because it could derail the carefully constructed, extra-costly marketing plans they have in place. Bethesda just wants to control their message, and I think fans understand that.

As long as that message is something like "'Fallout 4' release date coming Spring 2014."

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